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In all situations, you should strive to implement the most rigorous design possible. The more rigorous your evaluation—particularly if you are able to use an experimental or quasi-experimental design—the better it will be received by the scientific community and the more weight your findings will carry.
If your ultimate plan is to have your program included in a registry of evidence-based programs, such as NREPP, consider the reviewing body's applicable research requirements. For example, to meet NREPP's minimum requirements for a review, you must be able to submit at least one quasi-experimental or experimental study of the program that shows statistically significant outcomes (additional requirements may apply; for more information on the current minimum requirements, visit the NREPP Web site).
Remember that if you are limited to a less ambitious design for an initial study, you may be able to build on the success of that first study to generate support for a more rigorous evaluation down the road.
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